Northern Cardinal Update
- Tom Riffel phoned late last night to inform that he saw the Cardinal,
yesterday (Monday) just prior to noon first around 11:30. It suddenly
arrived when he was standing in the west alley pretty much where we saw it
several days ago.
As suspected the bird is apparently now mostly eating fruit as the weather
is still mild. It was noted as it flew into a crab apple tree for a few
bites and later as it nibbled on some dried grapes on a vine near a feeder.
It was seen in the second and third backyards yards to the north or right as
you enter this alley from Rae Street.
This one long block alley is the one that runs west of Rae Street towards
Elphinstone. It is the first one south of the intersection of Rae St. and
- Recently, Jared Clarke reported seeing the bird in the alley to the west
immediately to the south of the Lakeview Avenue and Rae Street Intersection.
I assume it was within the first several backyards as you enter walking
west. This was formerly the best location.
I have had no recent reports from Lee Rea about the bird being in her yard
immediately on the southeast corner of the above intersection.
The bird has also been seen at a relatively newer location at 3424 Angus
Street on the first block south of 23rd Avenue. The feeder is in a well
treed backyard behind a garage. Note the distinctive raised driveway.
There are two alleys here which provide access. (These meet to form a T.)
One connects east-west to Angus and Rae Streets.. The other runs parallel to
these streets behind the houses. The bird can be seen over the fence from
either alley at the point of their intersection.
Remember that this bird is extremely wary at the feeder. It must be allowed
to feed so don't remain in the area too long.
I have met the owner of the house on Angus much earlier when searching at
first for the bird. I missed her during my fewer visits so far. The
neighbors are curious.
- This bird seems in stealth mode during the day. At least I can't seem to
The owner at 3424 Angus Street reported today that she currently sees it
each day near 8:30 a.m. and later near 5:30 p.m.
Unfortunately, the light conditions are marginal then.
This is a similar pattern to its appearances at the Lakeview Avenue and Rae
Apparently the Cardinal forages on the ground underneath the backyard
feeders. Often it is the only bird present.
In addition to spilled oil sunflower seeds, peanuts in the shell are placed
on the ground here.
Several Fox and Gray Squirrels are regular visitors in this yard and
neighborhood. I see at least five here or nearby each day.
I wonder if this bird is also gleaning fragments of shelled peanuts in
addition to the sunflower seeds? The birds was reported at the new yard as
snacking on shelled peanuts.
Alleys pass along the west and north sides at 3424 Angus. This allows
excellent views into the yard.
Sometimes, the bird will be very confiding sitting in the open, near or on
the top of a tree or shrub or perched on a wire. Other times, it will dive
into and disappear in dense cover.
Other birds seen in the area today include
5 Red-breasted Nuthatches,
1 White-breasted Nuthatch,
1 female Downy Woodpecker (with another of these at Douglas Park.)
2+ Dark-eyed Junco's, House Finches and House Sparrows.
One of the large dead spruce trees near the corner of Angus and McCallum
today had what appeared to be fresh workings on the snow near the base.
I searched the immediate area plus the adjacent spruce trees across the east
side along Albert Street within the Leg Area of Wascana Park.
No woodpeckers were observed foraging on conifer trees although several
branches on various trees had been scaled.
I wonder if these activities may have been the work of Downy or Hairy